Astor, John [Johann] Jacob
- Frank Kidson
- , revised by H. G. Farmer
(b Waldorf [now Walldorf], nr Heidelberg, Germany, 1763; d New York, NY, 29/March 30, 1848).
American instrument maker and importer. He went to London to join his brother George [Georg] Astor (b Waldorf, c1760), who had gone to England about 1778; together they started business as flute makers, their firm operating as George & John Astor from 1782 to 1797 or 1798. In 1783 John Jacob came to the United States with a small consignment of flutes, visiting another brother who had settled in Baltimore. The value of his stock of flutes is said to have been only about £5, but on advice given him by a fellow voyager he invested the proceeds of his sales in furs and by selling these in England made a handsome profit. He returned to the United States and quickly profited by fur trading and by the sale of musical instruments sent to him from England. By ...